Top 3 Places to Build A Home Within 20 Miles of Portland

With its thriving art scene, abundance of green spaces, craft breweries, and eco-friendliness, Portland balances the advantages of urban living with a strong sense of community among its individual neighborhoods.

If living directly within the city doesn’t fit your lifestyle and you desire a bit more space, though, there are several surrounding suburbs and cities in Multnomah and Washington counties to consider. They put you close enough to the city to enjoy its employment opportunities and various amenities and attractions while enabling you to find the ideal piece of property on which to construct your new home. Some of the best places in the Portland metro area to build your future home include:

1. Oregon City

Oregon City is about a 20- to 30-minute drive south of Portland, depending on traffic. As the end of the Oregon Trail and former capital of the Oregon Territory, Oregon City still bears trademarks of its historical importance via its museums, landmarks, and unique vertical Elevator Street. The powerful Willamette Falls are located just south of Oregon City along Highway 99E, and many locals are drawn to biking, kayaking, and hiking. The Canemah Bluff Nature Park offers stunning views of the Willamette from its walking trail.

Additionally, the city has an eclectic mix of dining options, including Ingrid’s Scandinavian Food, Singer Hill Café, and Weinhard Grill. It also has become a bit of a craft brew destination, thanks to establishments such as the Oregon City Brewing Company, The Highland Stillhouse, and The Growler Run.

In 2019, the median home value in Oregon City was about $435,000, which is below that of nearby suburbs such as Lake Oswego and West Linn. In terms of places to live near Portland, it has one of the more moderate costs of living.


2. Lake Oswego

What once began as a weekend retreat for affluent Portland families has now become a highly sought-after place to live. With a population of about 30,000, Lake Oswego is primarily a residential community that sits about 10 miles south of Portland. Large homes ranging from $1.5 million to several million surround the private lake for which the city is named. The Lake Oswego Lake Association owns boat docks and about 20 parks for use by its members, although the Lake Oswego Swim Park is open to all residents from July to August.

Along Kruse Way, there is a substantial business corridor, and downtown Lake Oswego is filled with high-end boutiques, shops, restaurants, and public art. Enhancing the beauty of the area are numerous trees, plaza plantings, and hanging baskets. During the summer, it becomes home to the European-style Lake Oswego Farmers' Market.

While Lake Oswego has a large concentration of senior residents, many of whom have lived in the area for decades, the city also claims some of the best school districts in the state.


3. Wilsonville

Wilsonville, located about 15 miles south of Portland, is considered the gateway from the highly urbanized area up north to Oregon's beautiful wine country and the rich agricultural lands of Willamette Valley. Several major tech companies have set up their headquarters in Wilsonville, including Xerox and Siemens/Mentor Graphics. The suburb is also home to the Oregon Institute of Technology Campus.

Wilsonville was originally named Boones Landing because the Boones Ferry crossed the Willamette River at that location. In 1880, the community was renamed, although it still benefits from the presence of the beautiful river flowing its way through town.

Other features that enhance the livability of Wilsonville include its numerous acres of public gardens and parks, highly rated public schools, and a range of restaurants and coffee shops. The Oregon Golf Club, an exclusive club with Scottish-inspired courses, is located atop Pete’s Mountain.

If you are looking to build a home on a property with some acreage, such as a riverfront estate, mini-farm, or horse property, Wilsonville could the place to settle down.  


Building Your New Portland Home the Renaissance Way

Want to build a new home in one of the appealing suburbs situated in the Portland metro area? Through Renaissance Homes’ Renaissance Custom Homes division, you can choose a house plan from our extensive portfolio and have it built on your own lot. This streamlined process results in both a rewarding home building experience and a home that provides you value for years to come.